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December 30, 2022

Chargé d’Affaires Mark Fleming's Holiday Remarks


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, Croatia!

Though we are faced with grave challenges in Europe, this was also a remarkable year for U.S.-Croatia ties, thanks to the many accomplishments we have achieved together.  Accomplishments that are a testament to the strength of our friendship and the power of our common values.

On this thirtieth anniversary of U.S.-Croatia diplomatic relations, our first-ever Strategic Dialogue held in March laid out a roadmap for the U.S.-Croatia partnership into the next decade.

The U.S. Croatia Forum, a pivotal gathering of U.S. and Croatian government, business, and community leaders all coming together here in Zagreb, showcased the new heights our countries have reached.

High-level visits, most recently by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for the Crimea Platform in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, showed Croatia’s leadership in Europe and partnership with the United States.  We stand together with Ukraine.  Our coordinated action and defense of core principles are the reasons why Putin failed to realize his aims in Ukraine.

Croatia is a capable NATO Ally.  The acquisition of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters this year solidified our joint commitment to shared security.  American aircraft carrier visits to Split and military training exercises enhanced our strong defense partnership.

Together, the United States and Croatia are addressing climate change and working to promote renewable energy initiatives.  We look to see Croatia emerge as a regional energy leader, expanding on the success of the Krk terminal to help its neighbors realize their own energy independence.

Croatia’s momentous entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver program last year was followed this year by completing Global Entry program requirements and our signing this month of the U.S.-Croatia Treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation.  We have clearly deepened our people-to-people ties, strengthened economic integration between our countries, moving forward bilateral agreements that matter to our citizens.  The bonds between the United States and Croatia have never been stronger.

I am thankful this holiday season for the privilege to lead the wonderful team at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, and for the opportunity to work closely together with our Croatian partners as we advance our shared goals and aspirations.

Thank you all for your partnership, and the best is yet to come.  Sretan Božić i sretnu Novu Godinu.

– Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Mark Fleming